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What is the etymology of dandelion?

Dandelion is from a French phrase dent de lion, from Latin dens leonis 'lion's tooth' - based on the deeply toothed edges of the leaves of this weed. Dandelion is the name given any plant of the genus Taraxacum of the family Asteraceae (aster), perennial herbs found widely in temperate regions. Its bright yellow flower is followed in fruit by a round head of white down, which is an adaptation for wind distribution of the seed-like fruits. Though many think of it as a weed or lawn nuisance, it is an extremely useful plant and can be made into coffee, wine, and medicine; used for salad greens; and in making rubber. Some say there is a 'missing link' in this (and other words') etymology: that of Anglo-French. Dandelion is said by the authorities to be first found in English in the 16th century and to be an adaptation of the French dent-de-lion. Yet Godefroy's (Godefroy, F., Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue française et de tous ses dialectes du IXe au XVe siècle, 10 vols; Paris, 1880-1902) sole example of dandelyon comes from the Englishman Palsgrave, a dating which clearly refutes the claim that the sixteenth-century English word is "adapted" from continental French.

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